University students reportedly being forced to work for Foxconn ahead of iPhone 5 launch

iPhone 5 Production China

Thousands of university students in China are allegedly being forced to work on the assembly line of a Foxconn factory after classes were suspended at the start of a new semester, according to a report from Shanghai Daily. The plant was said to be unable to find a sufficient number of workers for the production of Apple’s (AAPL) upcoming iPhone 5 and reached out to several different universities for help. Students began work on the production line last Thursday and are being compensated with 1,550 yuan, or roughly $243, per month for working 12 hours a day, six days a week.

One anonymous student claimed authorities had ordered the schools to send students to assist Foxconn, however the factory neither informed parents nor signed agreements with students. Another student explained how some institutions would punished students who had tried to leave the factory.

Teachers from local schools admitted in a China National Radio report that routine classes were suspended for the next one or two months, although they defended the controversial internships, claiming it was to “experience working conditions and promote individual ability.”

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